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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 1, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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president's ideology of dictators. a series of jaw-dropping interviews including a confusing exchange he was wiretapped by president obama. is he standing by the baseless allegation or not? preexisting confusion. tonight, republicans are struggling to lock up support for a new health care compromise as the president insists that coverage for preexisting conditions is guaranteed. is this new attempt to repeal and replace obamacare in danger of falling apart? his term barely started but the president was out with a brand-new campaign ad. as some of the biggest aides in the democratic party are also trying to grab the political spotlight. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room.
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>> we're following multiple breaking stories, including brutal leaders with blood on their hands. mr. trump declaring he would be quote honored it meet with kim jong-un under the right circumstances even as north korean strong man threatens nuclear war with the united states. this just hours after the president invited the leaders of the philippines to meet with him at the white house despite rod reego duterte's record and allegations of mass murder. vice president pence goes to capitol hill as the appeal and replace obamacare appears to be in serious jeopardy right now. multiple republicans have come out against the new health care confidence with a total of 21 lawmakers publicly opposed by cnn's account. house leaders now at risk of failing once again to secure enough votes it pass health care bill. the trump white house facing new challenges and controversy as
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the president continues to tout his first 100 days as success. one of several head-scratching interviews, mr. trump insisted his unsubstantiated claim had been. then chafing at the question, he cut short the interview. we are covering that and more this hour with our guests including congresswoman kathleen rice, democrat on the homeland security committee. and our correspondents and analyst are also standing by. first, let's go to cnn's brian todd with more on the president's rather surprising remarks about kim jong-un and the north korean threat. what the latest? >> wolf, the president's comments are causing concern tonight. not only here in washington but also in seoul and tokyo. many observers warning tonight that just talking about meeting with the north korean leader could undermine mr. trump's relationships with his south korean and japanese allies at a time when tensions have rarely been higher.
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>> kim jong-un's never met face-to-face with any foreign head of state since taking power. only high profile american he met with, former nba star, dennis rodman. >> happy birthday to you ♪ >> kim's never even left his country since taking power. but tonight president trump is opening the door to a meeting with the violent erratic north korean dictator. ? an interview with bloomberg news, the president said quote if it is appropriate for me to meet with him, i would, absolutely. i would be honored to do it. if it is, again, under the right circumstances. what circumstances would be appropriate for the president to meet with kim? >> if north korea were ever serious about completely dismantling its nuclear capability and taking away the threat that they pose both to the region and to us, that there's always going to be a possibility of that occurring. that possibility is not there at this time. >> tonight analyst warn a trump meeting with kim jong-un risks legitmizing a leader who killed,
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imprisoned and starved his own people while building a nuclear arsenal that threatens the west. >> that helps him further in north korean. strengthens him. damage for south korea, treating this with dismay. >> while mr. trump present the jarring possibility after face-to-face meeting, he says in an interview with fox news how much danger kim jong-un has placed american troops in the region in. >> nobody's safe. who's safe? the guy's got nuclear weapon. i'd like to say they are very safe. these are great soldiers, great troops and they know this situation with 28,000 troops on the line. and they are right there. and so nobody is safe. we're probably not safe over here. they are long-range missiles. we're not safe either. >> several conflicting messages on north korea have come from the president over the past few days. he said he quote wouldn't be happy with another nuclear test from the regime. he left open the possibility of
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military action but in an interview with cbs, he praised kim. >> he is dealing with obviously very tough people in particular the generals and others. and at a very young age he was able to assume power. a lot of people i'm sure tried to take that power away whether his uncle or anybody else and he was able to do it. so obviously he is a pretty smart cookie. >> tonight another warning for the president of what could go wrong in a meeting with the young tyrant he seems to admire. >> because if that negotiation fails, there's nowhere else to go. and that's a very dangerous place to put any president. >> not to mention the history involved. analyst say president trump in any negotiation with kim jong-un has to realize the north koreans have renegged on just about every agreement with the west on the nuclear program over the last 23 years. >> president trump stands by his
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claim he was wiretapped by president obama. mr. trump clearly getting upset, paefed shall we say, when he was asked about this ongoing controversy. let's bring in senior white house correspondent jim acosta. the jim, the president seemed to be thrown by this subject coming up in an interview to make his 100 days. >> that's right. a puzzling remark president trump made. the president appeared to defend his allegation in an interview cbc but also in the same breath he seems to say he doesn't stand by the comment what makes the exchange even more baffling is that president also appears described in the a accusation as his opinion. here's what he had to say. >> he was very nice to me but after that we've had some difficulties. so it doesn't matter. you know, words are less important to me than deeds. and you saw what happened with surveillance and everybody saw what happened with surveillance. >> difficulties how? >> well, you saw what happened with surveillance.
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and i think that was inappropriate. >> what does that mean? >> can you figure that out yourself. >> well you said you call him sick and bad. >> look, you can figure it out yourself. he was very nice to me with words. but and when i was with him. but of that there has been no relationship. >> but you stand by that claim about him -- >> i don't stand by anything. can you take it the way you want. i think our side's been proven very strongly and everybody is talking about it. and frankly it should be discussed. i think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. i think that's very big topic and a topic that should be number one and we should find out what the hell is going on. >> i want to find out, you're the president of the united states, you said he is sick and bad because -- >> you can take it any way you want. >> but i'm asking you. you don't want fake news. i want to hear it from president trump. >> you don't have to ask me. >> why not? >> because you can have your
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opinions and i can have my opinions. >> but you're the president of the united states. >> that's it. thank you very much. >> spicer very quickly says the president continues to defend this accusation. here is what he had to say very briefly today. >> clearly stands by that. >> and that's it. clearly stands by that. the president and white house have not provided any evidence whatsoever to back up the president's wiretapping allegation. they have since brought in that accusation to bring in overall surveillance and even republican leaders on capitol hill say there is no proof of that either. >> fbi director says there is no evidence of that either. jim acosta, thank you very much. let's get more on all of this from congresswoman kathleen rice. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> do you believe to being open to a direct meeting of kim jong-un is a good idea? >> no.
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i think most people feel the same way. it's baffling to me how the president of the out can use the word honored and talking about meeting with a dictator who kills members of his own family to assure his power. and they aren't there to support any kind of in-person meeting at all. in fact until kim jong-un stops with testing and shows that he ratchets down all of the actions that he is taking now to show his force, until he stops doing that, i don't see how there is any way to have any kind of meeting at all. it is important to have diplomatic conversations to get conversations going. but at this point, kim jong-un has shown absolutely no desire to engage in those talks at all. >> because the argument is potentially could help ease some of the tensions and these tensions are enormous right now.
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and in the process the u.s. would know more about this closed off nation. >> this is the problem, wolf. we have a president who shows a disturbing pension for authoritarian figures for dictators, for any world leader who will compliment him. whether that's vladimir putin, duterte, kim jong-un, and that's very disturbing. this is the president of the united states. you know, talking about being flattered, having his ego stroked by people who engage in such violent terrible behavior, and want to do harm to us. so i just don't understand, when is the president going to learn that every single word he says has meaning. and it affects how our allies abroad see our commitment to them to protecting them. and this is just a perfect example of that. how do you think people in japan and south korea feel when the president of the united states says he would be honored to meet
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with a man who want to kill them. who wants it destroy them. again, it is so disturbing. what other word can you use to describe it? >> the white house press secretary said meeting presidential meeting with the philippine president duterte is in the national interest precisely because of north korea. do you believe that president duterte could help when it comes to dealing with north korea? as you know, the president in that interview over the weekend, invited in that phone conversation, with duterte, invited him to come to the white house. >> it's possible that it might be able to help. i think right now what we need to do is reach out to allies, allies first and for most. duterte may be able to help but he has a disturbing record of extra judicial killings of just dealers, actually donald trump has lotted the way he is dealing with the drug problem in his country which again is just a disturbing feeling of thought
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that president expressed once again. but so i think you would have to acknowledge that he is doing the duterte is doing bad things in his country. but look, we need a broad coalition of international people to help with this issue of kim jong-un and if this particular leader might do that, it might be worth it. but acknowledge him for what he is and who he is. >> i want you to react to what president trump said about wiretapping allegations he was levelled against president obama that he -- and in this interview president trump said he doesn't stand by anything that he thinks his side's been proven very strongly on these allegations. what more would you like to hear from him on his own claims that his campaign has been wiretapped by the obama administration. does it answer like that hurt u.s. credibility?
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>> here's my theory on that, wolf. it seems that any time donald trump's mouth get him into trouble he says outrageous things. he said the first hundred days matter. now it doesn't. yes, they do. no, they don't. it seems he likes to go to his fail safe. what can i say now that might, you know, what's the next shiny object? that might be able to take people's attention away from these crazy and outrageous things that i'm saying? and he brings up a claim that every single person, every single person in the intelligence community on both side of the aisle here in washington have said it's not true. there was no wiretapping. but i think he just, the president has a disturbing pension for repeating things that he knows are not true. that everyone knows are not true and the hope that maybe, okay, maybe it is. even though facts show it is not. this is a claim that has been debunked since the first time he said it.
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and they district people away from other outrageous things he is saying. >> on the issue of russia's interfering in the u.s. presidential election now, and this last interview, president said it could have been russia, could have been china, could have been others. he is apparently not convinced what the u.s. intelligence community is convinced of, what fbi director is convinced of, director of national security agency and republican leadership as well as democratic leadership in the house and senate. what do you say to that? >> he happens to be the only pers human being on the planet. i don't even know how to explain that. russia is doing this all over europe. we're the latest victim of it. literally, i think he is the only person on the planet who doesn't accept that fact. >> congresswoman, there is more to discuss.
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made daily life a guessing game. will i have pain and bloating today? my doctor recommended ibgard to manage my ibs. take control. ask your doctor about nonprescription ibgard. we're back with congresswoman rice. we're following breaking news, congresswoman. i want you to stand by for a moment. we're getting the latest on the gop effort to pass a health care bill. that effort now apparently in serious jeopardy. our congressional correspondent up on capitol hill. sunland, vice president pence was there trying to muster support. but it is not clear at all if they have the votes they need. >> that's absolutely right, wolf. vice president pence is here on capitol hill meeting with members trying to save the bill.
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that's after a slew of leaders coming out today publicly posing this bill. not only splashing cold water on optimism but the white house was trying to predict they held the vote and could get it passed through the house this week but now pushing this just a few vote away from potentially failing. the white house is ratcheting up its push for a vote on health care this week. >> we know when the bill is called we are confident it will pass. >> and it is on for republicans to deliver. >> do we have the vote sni think we do. this is great week. we will get health care down to the floor of the house. we're convinced we've got the votes and we will keep moving on with our agenda. >> despite the public show of confidence it appears the latest repeal act is in jeopardy. 21 house republicans say they will vote against the bill. meaning the gop can only afford to lose one more republican
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vote. house moderates say they are concerned about how patients with preexisting conditions would be treated under the new gop plan. >> the amendment offered does weaken pro teches with preexisting conditions because states will be able to opt out or wave out of it. i think that's a big concern for many of the center right members with whom i'm affiliated with. >> even asked, president trump insists people with preexisting conditions won't be worse off. >> preexisting conditions are in the bill. and i mandated it. i said it has to be. we have a clause that guaranteed it. >> adding in an interview bloomberg news, it would be every bit as good on preexistings conditions as obamacare. that is seemingly at odds with a house bill. unveiled last week to help attract lawmakers to allow states to opt out of obamacare's rating vision. all this after lawmakers reach their first major bipartisan agreement under the trump
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administration agreeing on a spending bill sunday night to keep the government funded until december. but the bill which increases defense spending at border security includes major concessions from the white house. including leaving planned parenthood funding in place and no funding for the proposed wall along the u.s./mexico border. and back on health care, republican whip, they are meeting right now to really give an indication of where this is all heading. they are meeting now and going into the meeting, telling cnn's lauren fox, he has no predictions at all as to when and if a bill would come up with week and certainly also notable some whips heading into that meeting tonight saying they don't know how they will vote on this bill if it potentially goes to a house vote this week. wolf, what certainly seems to indicate and speak volumes about where this is all headed. >> a lot of uncertainty even with folks responsible for keeping tabs on how individual
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republicans will vote. they're not sure what this status is right now. thanks very much, sunlen, for that report. now back to congresswoman kathleen rice. do you think republican kes stand any further no votes on health care? >> no, they can't. they are coming right up against -- they can't afoertd to lose more than 22 votes. >> coudo you believe they will e more and this will be derailed for the time being? >> there's no question. i speak to a lot of my moderate republican friend and they just can't support this bill, especially when they know when it gets to senate it is not going to pass there. so they are asked to walk the plank on a bill they know is not going to survive once it is sent over to senate. and you know, when president trump says i'm mandating that preexisting condition be covered, it really begs the question, has he read the bill? because if you read built, it is very clear that insurance companies will have the ability to charge people with preexisting conditions more money. and that's very clear.
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that's why i think a lot of moderate republicans are not supporting it. >> let's get through other issues. the white house press secretary sean spicer said today that the government, temporary funding bill that keeps the government operating through the fiscal year until the end of september will include a $1.5 billion down payment for the border security, referring to border security money that wasn't allocated for the wall, specifically for the border wall in the bill. do you see that as a down payment potentially for the wall? >> no, it can't be. and the language is actually very specific, wolf, that it is not to be used to build a wall. it is used to invest in technology. better uses of technology like drones and things like that and also to fix parts of the wall that actually already exist. so and it was very specific that the language be written that way and so there's no way that they can use it to build a wall and guess what?
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most americans don't want their tax dollars to build a wall. it was a great campaign rhetoric but now that it is coming to governing, the support is just not there. >> just last week, you're on the homeland security committee, homeland security secretary, secretary kelly, said that the electronics ban keeps them awake at night and the threat is real. he said the ban could expand everywhere. it is only a limited number of countries right now where this ban on electronics on flights to the united states have been implemented. have you seen intelligence supporting this? do you think it should go everywhere, the ban? >> so we were briefed at members of homeland security committee were briefed by secretary kelly. i tell you, i think he is really impressive guy. and believe me, when he says it keeps him awake at night, it keeps a bunch of us awake at night. i think he made the right decision given the intelligence that he has right now.
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whether or not that's going to be expanded, that's going to be up to him to decide and i'm sure he will as he has in the past come and brief us here in congress. but look, i think that donald trump had some good picks and i think secretary kelly was one of them. >> always good to have you here in the situation room. congresswoman kathleen rice of new york. thanks very much. >> thank you for having me, wolf. >> shutting down questions about his controversial wiretap claims against the former president after giving several confusing responses. so what was he thinking? >> you don't have to ask me. >> why not? >> because i have my own opinions. you can have your opinions. >> but i want to know your opinions, you're president of the united states. >> that's enough. thank you. thank you very much. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we've used real ingredients, whole nuts, and natural flavors from the very beginning. give kind a try.
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a dubious claim with no evidence backing it up. but president trump says his allegation he was wiretapped by president obama has quote been proven very strongly. listen to this exchange with cbs news correspondent john dickerson during an oval office interview. >> he was very nice to me but of that we've had some difficulties. so it doesn't matter. words are less important to me than deeds. so you saw what happened with surveillance and everybody saw what happened with surveillance. >> difficulties how? >> well you saw what happened with surveillance.
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and i think that was inappropriate. >> what does that mean? >> you can figure that out yourself. >> the reason i ask is you called him sick and bad. >> look, can you figure it out yourself. he was very nice to me with words. and when i was with him. but of that there has been no relationship. >> but you stand by that claim about -- >> i don't stand by anything. can you take it the way you want. i think our side's been proven very strongly and everybody is talking about it and frankly it should be discussed. i think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. i think that's a very big topic and a topic that should be number one and we should find out what the hell is going on. >> i just want to find out, urt president of the united states, you said he was sick and bad because he attacked you -- >> you can take it any way you want. >> but i'm asking you. you don't want it to be fake news. i want it to be from president trump. >> you don't have to ask me. >> why not? >> because you can have your opinions and i will have my opinions. >> but i want to hear your
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opinion. you're the president of the united states. >> that's enough. thank you. thank you very much. >> chris cillizza, what stood out in your mind in that extraordinary ex change? >> well he is wrong on, my view has been proven out and everyone is talking about it. the facts are this. donald trump is on one side saying i was wiretapped by president obama during the 2016 election. okay, on the other side of that ledger are fbi director james comey, james clapper wz president obama who denied it. republican chairman of the house senate, house and senate intelligence committees. paul ryan, speaker of the house. >> mitch mcconnell. >> literally name any politician and republican or democrat and they are likely to pair. he just says things and he con flights opinion with fact. his opinion is that lots of people are talking about it and he has somehow been justified. the facts simply on this do not
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bear that out. >> you worked not only cnn and fbi, what does it say to you that james comey said there is no evidence to back up the president's assertion against the former president? does it suggest to you that this president doesn't trust his fbi director? >> you have to look at a couple of pieces. first, remember, think about how he characterizes secretary of defense. very positive. that's his nominee. i think james comey is not. he doesn't have to side with james comey because he doesn't are to say this is my guy and therefore he can do no wrong. second thing you have to look at is if the president has to make a choice between facts as chris is talking about and government of bureaucracy and what he views as an attack on his own integrity with his base, he will make a choice and that choice is what fourth grade nuns would have told me you can't do. humility goes out the window and he says i'm right regardless. our side has been proven right. yeah, except for the p p em that
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actually do this. that the fbi and department of just choice said publicly, you're wrong. >> very important point. abby phillip, you heard the president say, when he was challenged on all of this web said you figure it out yourself. when he often challenged son on facts, he often says that. does he grass be the weight of his word as president of the united states opposed to a private citizen or even candidate? >> he was vague. he kept using bus words like surveillance and using them almost indiscriminately. that's almost a symptom of a larger problem. as president of the united states he doesn't -- he hasn't really fully grasped that every single word matters. when you use the word surveillance it actually means something. when he tweeted those things out in the first place, it triggered so much activity in the federal
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government, since he is president of the united states. we are clearly seeing someone who on some level i wonder how much he grasps that technicality of the surveillance state, as it were, which is something he is right that we need to talk about it. was he surveilled? probably not. were there people within his circle whose information was incidentally collected, there is no evidence it was illegal. we don't get much fact when the president talks. that's real problem. people are listening and his words are much more consequential now than they were on the campaign trail. >> a lot of eyebrows were raised in this exchange. the president had once again with john dickerson on the complexities of the second version of repealing and replacing obama care. trs. >> preexisting conditions are in the bill. and i mandated it. i said it has to be. >> one of the discussions preexisting is optional for states. >> sure, in one of the fixes.
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and they are changing it and changing it. >> that would be permanent? >> of course. >> everyone gets preexisting no matter where they live? >> no but the states will have a lot to do with it because we ultimately want to get back to the state. the state is going to be in a much better position to take care because it's smaller. >> i'm not hearing you mr. president say there is a guarantee of preexisting -- >> we have a clause that guarantees. >> so when he says that, does it have a dramatic impact on republican members who are undecided right now? >> yeah a couple things, wolf. to abby's point, this is some generalized buzz words the president is giving out in this interview and expecting that either we in the media or american people are not going to follow up and look into the particulars. at least when you look at these statements. in terms of you know were i republican member of the house right now, i would take those statements as saying look, if this somehow passes and somehow works out, then maybe president trump will take the lion's share
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of the credit. if it doesn't work out or pass, he will lay the blame on congress and say, i didn't know everything in the bill. >> you said it a million times, chaos. if you're a house republican on the fence, you don't have any assurances. you might conclude the opposite, that donald trump will stand by you once this bill goes to senate if they can get it passed from senate to committee and that's the problem you vote for something the next day the president of the united states can say, oh, i didn't like that. these house republicans are screwing it up. he does the good cop bad cop turn faster than anyone. it cannot be a reassuring thing. i'm not clear from that clip, wolf, whether he knows what the bill says. >> he has given a lot of interviews past few days. ? one interview he said he's not sure that russia interfered in the u.s. presidential election suggesting it could have been china. could have been somewhere else.
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what does that say about his relationship with the intelligence community which has come out and said there is no doubt that russia is? it? >> we aught to be careful for the future. this puts a lot of pressure on the leadership and intelligence community in the years ahead. lets asay we have an impasse where there is a supposition or claim about nuclear activity or a claim about the president's office from iran. or lack of activity in syria. what are we supposed to say? are we supposed to say the president is right when he has proven repeatedly he will make stuff up on the fly? i mentioned leadership before because i think he is putting people like the fbi director, secretary of defense, secretary of state, cia director in the future, in the position of coming out periodically in high-stress situations, saying you know what president just said, i have to come out and says, that's not what happened. jim comey today do that. >> mike rogers also has corrected the president during that open testimony.
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stand by. just ahead, president trump's controversial invitation to an you aer to tari you a authoritar accused of killing thousands of his own people. for [wife] hi [dad] hey buddy [son] hey dad [wife] i think we can do this. [chancellor] adam baily. [chancellor] adam baily.
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. the trump administration is defending the outreach of two of the world's most ruthless leaders, each blamed for the deaths of so many of their own
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citizens. jeff zeleny has the latest. >> with the nuclear threat looming and tensions rising, president trump declaring today that he would be honored to meet with north korean lead are, kim jong-un. if it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, the president telling bloomberg news, i would be honored to do it. the president's choice of words raising eyebrows after praising the regime's rogue leader in a weekend cbs news interview. >> at a very young age he wassi wassiwas able to assume hour. so obviously he is a pretty smart cookie. >> white house president secretary sean spicer sought to temper those kind words saying conditions do not exist right now for the president to hold talks with north korea. >> we've got to see their provocative behavior ratcheted down immediately. there is a lot of conditions that i think would have to happen with respect to its behavior and to show signs of
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good faith. >> the president stirring controversy after stirring his hand to the president of the philippines, duterte. he invited him to the white house despite a brutal human rights record. the aer to tarian leader is accused of killing thousands of people during his war on drugs. he also called president obama an expletive. one told the white house senior the visit was not planned. it came from a phone call between trump and duterte. it was described as a friendly conversation. democrats said it amounted to an endorsement of the fill peian leader. trump risks giving duterte's actions an american stamp of approval. the president defended his position, saying in bloomberg news, he is popular if the philippines, he has a approval
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rating in the fiif ilthe philippines. >> it is an opportunity for us to work with regions who can play a role in diplomatically and isolating north korea. >> it is an affinity for strong men. >> it is great to be with the president of egypt. >> from inviting the president that was jeff zeleny reporting for us, our senior white house correspondent. let's get back to our panel, chris, why would the president of the united states extend an invitation to duterte to come to the white house, given this record that he has, killing his own people? >> 7,000 people, according to human rights watch killed in this >> the short answer is, wolf, i don't know why he would do this.
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the slightly longer answercy think that donald trump revels in of the way things are traditionally done. he likes -- in the same interview where he is praising kim jong-un, he says and that is breaking news. he likes making a splash. he likes doing things that are unorthodox. he believes that people who voted for him likes him to do these things even if it is breaking with tradition, or even if it doesn't make political sense, i think he revels in that provocation, he revels in us saying i don't know why he is doing it. >> the president was given state papers with president zhaeduter so the question is what went
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wrong? >> i doubt he looked at this. i believe most of his supporters, let's talk about geography ignorance, most don't know where the country is. sisi and egypt, putin, the chinese leader, north korea leader, he has incredible faith and krconfidence in his people change, i sat him down, i said you have to release the american citizen. i think he realizes there is not a lot of cost to this one and as chris says he thinks i will say what i want. >> abby, what are the global implications when the president appears to be abandoning the traditional human rights interest of the united states? >> yeah, one of the reasons why for such a long time the american government has at least tried to spread american values,
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because it keeps americans safe at home and it keeps americans safe abroad. the potential downside here is that people like kim jong-un and the philippines president take from this that the way to get a sitdown with the president of the united states is to basically be provocative and to do things that are outside the norms of human rights international law and that is a huge risk for this president because it has longer term implications. and whatever near term solution ordeal deal he is trying to ma >> let me read you this quote. if it would be appropriate for me to meet with him i would absolutely. i would be honored to do it. if it's under the again, under the right circumstances but i would do that. sean spicer as press secretary later seemed to walk that back a bit. still, the resident upresident word honored to meet with him.
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>> if it were appropriate, that is why we hire presidents to decide if it's right to meet with these world leaders. but the president sees the interactions with the strong leaders in human terms rather than national interests of one person to another. he can sort of wind down the account and get the meeting regardless of human rights -- >> and under the right circumstances, doing a lot of work in that sentence. the truth of that, if north korea is not north korea and kim jong-un suddenly becomes somebo somebody else other than who he is -- >> all right, everybody stand by, much more, president trump speaks out about the civil war and the one man he believes could have stopped it. even though one man died 16 years before.
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an unusual take on american history by the commander in chief. listen to this. >> i mean, had andrew jackson been a little bit later you would not have had the civil war. he was a very tough person. but he had a big heart. and he was -- he was really angry, he saw what was happening with regard to the civil war. he said there is no reason for this. people don't realize, the civil war -- you think about it, why? people don't ask that question, but why was there the civil war? why could that one not have been
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worked out? >> let's get some reaction. >> people don't ask that question? i think people do actually ask that question. i was with trump the day he went to andrew jackson's childhood home and he was reading a speech and talking about andrew jackson as if he had really heard many of the things for the first time so some of this does not actually surprise me. >> there is a great scene in "revenge of the nerds," where he says what if cat really spells dog? phil made this point earlier about duterte, the idea that he is reading up on these things whether it's the philippines president or andrew jackson is just not right. he gets in these situations and doesn't prepare. we know that over and over. the cnn contributor are saying yeah, like third china moving along because he has obviously stalled and then he goes into the rift on you know, the civil
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war, which to abbey's point, is nonsensical. this is what happens when you're the president of the united states and every word you say is analyzed. >> he describes andrew jackson as very tough, big heart, sounds like he wants himself to be described that way. >> and andrew jackson died 16 years before the civil war. >> he could learn from bush and clinton in dealing with bosnia, he could learn from libya, and isis, and this president doesn't learn. it's painful, but we realize he is no student of history. >> he does have a big picture of andrew jackson, hanging in the office. >> i have a big picture for lincoln, i voted for his third term. i'm in the same level as the president. >> lot of social media links. >> what does it say you know
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about this president when he makes a comment like that? >> well, you know, to phil's point he has a very limited grasp of history and precedent. and unfortunately, actually, when you are president it's actually kind of the worst time to go back and do that kind of homework. there is a lot to the job in the moment. in some of these cases it's probably best to take the shovel away and stop digging when you're going down the rabbit hole and saying things that are just completely untrue. >> with what the civil war was about, you should not need to do the homework. it was about slavery. i looked at south carolina's declaration of independence, they were the first state to declare independence, i counted 13 references to slavely. >> -- slavery. >> i am not sure he doesn't know, he just freelances in his
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investments that he is willing to talk off the cuff, it certainly makes it look to the naked eye he doesn't know what he is talking about on the subject that a history buff of any sort would know. >> thank you, guys, good conversation. that's it for me. thank you for joining us. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, breaking news, president trump says he would be honored to meet with kim jong-un, just hours after inviting a brutal strongman to the oval office. and president trump says it was proven strongly that president obama wiretapped his office. and cutting one of michelle obama's pet projects. is this about personal payback? good evening, "outfront" tonight, breaking news, the white house running to defend the president. president trump declares he would be quote honored to meet with the north korean


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